Thursday, February 28, 2008

Continuing Campaign Trail Battles, Roger Clemens, And Sharks!!!! (Wednesday's Show)

He everyone. We're kicking things off tonight again in the political trenches. Anderson Cooper tells us there's a new poll out from the "LA Times" that has a hypothetical McCain/Obama race in a virtual tie. Yeah, because that'll hold up come November. This irrelevant poll then moves us into a Candy Crowley piece for the latest campaign trail goings-on. Okay, so we're still on the Clinton's-on-the-ropes narrative, and a new development fueling that fire is civil rights stalwart John Lewis ripping his superdelegate vote from Clinton and handing it over to the currently-anointed Obama. Fab for him; demoralizing for her.

On the other side of the aisle, McCain seems to have sensed that the smart money right now is on Obamamania, and thus decided to play a a rousing early round of the quaint candidate's game: General Election Attack! Citing the junior senator's previous reported stance that he would send troops back to Iraq if Al Qaeda increased in strength after troops are withdrawn, McCain then did a little schooling on the stump, noting that Al Qaeda is already in Iraq and then claiming they'd take over if we pulled out. Ever unflappable, Obama schooled right back during his own stop, reminding the Maverick that actually Al Qaeda was never even in the country until we invaded.

And I myself would like to note that last year a Congressional Research Service report found that attacks from Al Qaeda make up a very small percentage of the overall attacks in Iraq and it's believed by many that if we did leave and the bloodletting did begin, Al Qaeda would be the first group to be crushed. Not to mention the fact that there's a whole other Al Qaeda that resides in between Afghanistan and Pakistan. You know, the one that actually attacked us. The one that could very well attack us again. The one that has absolutely nothing to do with Iraq. The one we totally dropped the ball on. So, McCain is either deliberately lying to the public (thanks media, for helping him with that, by the way) or he's really unaware of these extremely important facts connected to his signature campaign issue. Maybe somebody ought to find out which it is, no?

Next up, we have a John King piece on that sweet-talker Bill Cunningham. Yesterday the radio host warmed up a McCain crowd by attacking Obama, thus leading to a McCain apology. This did not go over well with Cunningham, who is skipping right over the Stephen Colbert "On Notice" board and going straight to declaring "Juan Pablo McCain" (en espanol presumedly due to amnesty rage) dead to him. (Well, technically he says he's "done with" him, but I don't think Stephen has a "Done With You" board.) So, uh, good lord. And because two crazy radio show hosts are better than one, Rush Limbaugh is now backing Cunningham up. Poor McCain has himself a right wing problem. Every time he thinks he's pacified them, something happens and suddenly they're foaming at the mouth again. For now, McCain is trying to downplay. But I'm guessing "downplay" is not even in Cunningham's vocabulary.

For discussion of all this, we're joined by Bay Buchanan, Roland Martin, and David Gergen. Anderson begins by asking Bay if she's surprised that McCain is taking hits now. She's not, but she does seem to be horrified that McCain would try to distance himself from a bigot. Um, okay. Anderson wonders if it might actually be a good thing that McCain has, you know, principles. Then Bay goes on about how it's the conservatives' turn to be mavericks and McCain didn't have to offend them. Okay, is she actually defending Cunningham? Man. The Gerg points out that McCain just had the conservatives on his side because of the New York Times story that played like a hit piece, and now they all hate him again. "It's like a Britney Spears marriage, it lasts like a day," says Anderson. Bwah! But aw, let's pick a less sad target next time.

The Gerg also notes that McCain has a temper. Awesome. That's just the quality I want in my president when he has his finger on the button. Roland thinks Cunningham has acted like a big spoiled baby and doesn't know how to behave when the big boys come to town. "All these conservative talk show hosts, what they want to do is be rabid and go on and on and on," says Roland. "Let me just say there are a lot of rabid liberal radio show hosts as well," says Anderson. Whoa, hold on there silver surfer. Name them. Because when it comes to talk radio, liberals are massively, massively outnumbered by insane conservatives (it's only been recently that liberals have even tried to enter the market). And to equate the things they say is also a big exercise in back bending. I'm not saying they can't be hella annoying, but c'mon.

Coming back from commercial, we're back with our panel and Anderson asks how McCain can use Iraq against Obama. Bay basically says he should be painted as a surrender monkey, which, you know, is a lovely and dignified way to run a campaign. Because the fact that Obama wants to get our troops out of the country that never attacked us and focus on the real Al Qaeda obviously means he wants us all to be speaking Arabic and living under sharia law six months after he's elected. The Gerg agrees McCain will play the surrender card, but he's not so sure it's going to work. The way Obama's going, McCain is likely to find all his attacks come flying back at him like a boomerang. The topic then moves to John Lewis switching his support to Obama and Roland explains that Lewis is actually going to be challenged in the next election and his district went heavy for Obama. Things suddenly get clearer. The dude's afraid of losing his job. Look for more Clinton defections for the same reason.

Transitioning now to a little coached banter between Anderson and Erica Hill over Anderson's haircut, which eventually leads to showing Erica's sixth-grade picture. Again. I think it's time to leave the poor girl alone. Tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" involves the campus of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina where they had a drill in which an armed man threatened to kill a classroom of students. The issue? Nobody knew it was a drill and this happened right after the real college shooting we just had. Needless to say, everyone had the crap scared out of them. Not cool, people. Not cool.

On now to a Joe Johns piece on how Bill Clinton has been doing more muted campaigning lately. And this apparently makes the media sad. Because remember when he was out in full force, attacking Obama and supplying the press with soundbite after soundbite? Wasn't that the bestest? But now he's being a spoil sport and quietly standing behind his woman. No fair. Where's the zing in that story? Hey, I know! If we did a story about how Bill Clinton is all quiet now, we could totally use it as an opportunity to play all those clips of when he was that wild and crazy guy. See, we don't even need angry Clinton. We can make him angry on our air whenever we want.

Transitioning now to a David Mattingly piece on Roger Clemens. Well, surprise, surprise, congress thinks he lied during his testimony and now they want the Justice Department to look into perjury charges. Andy Pettitte's testimony is what kept McNamee (trainer) out of the same perjury boat. After David's piece, we're joined by Lisa Bloom for the legal low down. She tells us DNA will be a key factor and that investigation of perjury cases is rare. Lisa thinks there will be charges, but this whole thing could take years Meh.

Next up, we have an Erica piece on a shark attack. This particular attack involved a man who willingly got into the water with the sharks. "In fact they even pay for that privilege. But one man recently paid with his life," says Erica. Dun dun dun! Okay, so apparently these people do cageless dives in shark invested waters. On purpose. Crazy. Hey, remember back in the summer of 2001 when there were all those shark attacks and even people who lived in landlocked states were freaking out? It was dubbed the "summer of the shark." Then on a Tuesday morning in September we forgot all about the sharks. And when we remembered them again, if ever, we felt rather silly. Because we learned that there were much bigger and more relevant things to worry about. Kind of like now.

The Shot tonight, back by popular demand, is the dancing prisoners from the Philippines. This time they're shaking their groove thing to some Soulja Boy. I've heard some, uh, interesting things about the lyrics to this song, so I'm not endorsing the music, but I found this video pretty fascinating. What have they done with Winnie the Pooh?! We also see the prisoners getting down to MC Hammer's "You Can't Touch This." Ooh, early 90's flashback! Fess up, people, I know I'm not the only one that spent hours perfecting the moves to this song. Remember when he decided to become just "Hammer"? And of course the running joke was it was only a matter of time before we'd be calling him "Ham." Whatever happened to that dude? Anyhoo, we round the night out with the classic "Thriller" and that'll do it. Okay show. B

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

McCain Speaker Attacks Obama, Iraq Update, Blackout In Florida, North Korea Trip Continued, And Debate Coverage (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everyone. We begin tonight as per usual with politics, but the story of the day this time is coming from the republican side. No, no candidate dust ups. Instead we've got a warm-up guy unhinged. Bill Cunningham is a radio talk show host who was asked to speak at a McCain event before the Maverick himself and, well, they're pretty much regretting that decision. "At some point in the near future, the media is going to peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama," Cunningham tells the crowd. I don't actually know what that even means, but it sounds offensive. And maybe violent. And of course he's got the middle name thing going on. Basically? Just imagine a Right Wing message board in the form of an angry white guy with a microphone and you'll know what the speech was like. Anderson Cooper tells us that for his part, McCain "strongly disavowed" the dude's rant, but more on that in a second.

John King then joins us live and we learn that Cunningham's tendency to say these kind of things was known, but they invited him anyway because Ohio is so important. The McCain camp says the candidate didn't know what had been said when he took the stage, and when he was told, he went straight to the reporters to issue an apology. Hm. Well, this is interesting. Because I watched this same story on Countdown and it was covered completely different, with McCain looking really bad. Obviously Countdown slants liberal (duh), but Keith Olbermann is still an honest guy and there really shouldn't be this much of a gap in reality. So is 360 being pro-McCain? Well, I wouldn't want to accuse John King of that. He might send me an angry email (aw John, I'm just messing with you).

I suspect the truth of this situation is somewhere in between my two cable news shows. Good thing I watch both of them so I can do the averaging, huh? Though hard to comprehend, it is possible that McCain didn't know what Cunningham said until he was leaving the stage. After all, most of the time the warm-up people are speaking before the candidate is even at the venue. But is he as apologetic as CNN so obviously wants us to believe? Extremely doubtful. After all, this is the guy who laughed and said "That's an excellent question," after a supporter, referring to Hillary, asked, "How do we beat the bitch?" But hey man, I'm bipartisan when it comes to BS. Clinton had an extremely similar episode. Politics just bring out the best in everyone! Speaking of that, Anderson wonders how ugly the general election is going to be if Obama gets the nomination. Very ugly, Anderson. Very ugly. Oh, and Anderson calls Cunningham a "two-bit radio host," which I find amusing. Not a fan, I see. John tells us that McCain wants nothing to do with the fear-mongering that Cunningham is selling. That's right! McCain only wants to fear-monger when it comes to Iraq.

And while we're on the topic of that recently forgotten war we're still fighting, hey look, we've actually got some Iraq coverage tonight. A Tom Foreman "Keeping Them Honest" piece takes a look at what the candidates are saying about the war. And who is the expert in this piece? Michael O'Hanlon. They've got to be kidding me. You might remember O'Hanlon making news a while back for an op-ed he wrote in support of the war. This was deemed a big thing at the time because he was a "critic of the administration," something repeated over and over in the news. Thing was, he was actually always pro war and the whole thing was really misleading. So anyway, all this doesn't exactly discredit what he says in this piece I guess, but uh, really not a good pick. Tom tells us that deaths and attacks are down and things like that, but there is no nuance here (at least mention that millions have fled, leaving less people to be killed-c'mon!). Iraq is a country that lives in gray; this piece was black and white. I'm underwhelmed.

To bring us some context, we're next joined by Michael Ware live. Yay! Michael we've missed you so. Okay, getting right to it, Michael tells us that yes, deaths are clearly down, but no one on the ground is celebrating. The surge is much more complicated than just adding troops, and everything we're doing now to hold things together and keep the deaths down (deals with the Sunni insurgents...) has long-term consequences that Michael says no one is talking about. (So let's do that. Oooh! You guys could have a map table talk about it!) Michael also pretty much tells us what those of us paying attention already know: we're never leaving. As for political success, Michael surprises me by talking more positively than I would have expected. So yay for that. But then he paints us a picture of a very fragile country, whose recent increased security can descend into bloodletting in an instant if the forces both human (our troops) and not (blast barriers that have segregated Baghdad) were to stop holding everyone apart. So to sum up, Iraq? Still FUBAR.

Transitioning now to coverage of today's big Florida blackout. Apparently a substation fire and technical problems left millions without electricity in the Sunshine State, but everything's cool now. This story brings up bitterness for me because in 2006 my city went through this twice, though both were weather related--massive storms in the summer and ice in the winter. The winter one actually got a fair amount of coverage related to our power company and why they were sucking so bad, but the summer instance was worse (you might remember that Queens had a long outage that summer as well). At that time the Israel/Hezbollah war was going strong, so even though we had a FEMA/National Guard/Red Cross/people dying (did I mention there was a heat advisory?) situation going on here, there wasn't much coverage on a national level--except of course for the infamous video of the poor woman getting taken out by a flying trashcan during the storm.

After finding out that Headline News had given an hour of airtime to a car chase, I got a little mad. And since I had no blog at the time to rant on, I took my ire to a much more famous blog. The next day or so, Brian Williams lead his newscast with coverage on the outage. Coincidence? Okay, yeah, probably coincidence. But it still felt good. By the way, during the outage, power was also knocked out to my area's water treatment facility, which meant I was under a boil water order. Without electricity that's a little difficult. Lesson? Stock up on emergency water. And yes, I already had some. I watched Katrina go down and the help not come; of course I had water.

Okay, now that I've got the narcissistic stuff out of the way, it's time to talk about Stephen Flynn, author of the book "The Edge of Disaster." Stephen has been on 360 before, always warning us of the troubles in our own backyard, which we continue to not fix. He tells us our infrastructure is in dire need of some fixing up, specifically the power grid, which is probably the reason for today's outage. Back in 2003 there was a massive blackout across the Northeast and Stephen tells us that since that time some improvements have been made by setting standards, but there has been no investment in the system. He also points out how dependent we are on electricity these days and how we're incapacitated without it. Hell, I practically have a panic attack when I can't get on the Internet. What Stephen wants is for people to ask the presidential candidates about this stuff and get a discussion going. Good luck with that. Anderson's a conscientious guy, so I'm sure he'd ask if he nabbed himself a candidate, but asking a question and getting action are two entirely different things. We talk about this stuff every time something bad happens, but nothing ever changes. Hello! Levees failing. Big bridge falling down. And still, nothing.

The Shot is early tonight, most likely due to debate coverage that's coming down the pike. Anyway, it's video of an officer hanging on for his dear life as a suspect speeds down the road. The poor guy was doing a routine stop and got caught in the door when the bad guy bolted. He's okay though. Scary.

Moving on now to a taped interview Erica Hill did with Christiane Amanpour, who is in North Korea. But before I get to that, I have to say I am very relieved to see Erica doing this. I know I haven't said much about her addition to the show because I wanted to see how she settled in first, but truth be told, I haven't been all that thrilled. Because thing is, Erica had her own show on Headline News and it was starting to look like she had only been brought over to 360 to be cute with Anderson. I think Erica and Anderson have great chemistry and I love their interactions, but as a woman I really do not want to see someone that had her own show (which is a huge accomplishment) playing sidekick to Anderson, no matter how much I love him. I know she's done some other newsy stuff since she started, but c'mon, this is Christiane Amanpour in North Korea--it's a bigger deal than dial-testing. So hopefully my first impression was wrong and we'll be seeing Erica put her journalistic chops to work more in the future. I'm sure she didn't sign up for anything less.

So anyway, Christiane tells us all about the New York Philharmonic orchestra's performance. Apparently it was a success. The Communist Workers Party official newspaper gives the performance four stars! Okay, I made that up. But they did like it. And they got to see a different side of the US. The audience heard our National Anthem and seemed to like the overall experience. Christiane explains that the people of North Korea pretty much still feel we're at war and that not only did we start it, we're at fault for continuing it too. Of note is that former Defense Secretary William Perry was allowed to cross the DMZ, which is kind of a huge deal. Maybe we should send these guys to Iran next.

Next up, we have a rather personal piece from Alina Cho. Her parents are survivors of the Korean War and she went to North Korea in search of lost family members. The North Korean government says there's not enough time to help her on this trip, but maybe next time. Hm, I'm not sure I'd trust the North Korean government.

Finally tonight, they have coverage from the MSNBC debate, but this post is getting way too long and you've heard a lot of this stuff anyway. And while they did bring up coverage bias, which is worthy of lots of discussion, for right now I'd just like to point out this question from Anderson in regards to the press: "Do you think they're too easy on Obama?" They're? I believe the word you're looking for is "we're." I know I've said this before, but the press talking about the press like they don't have anything to do with themselves sort of makes my head explode. It's completely unfair to characterize everyone under the blanket term of "media" or even "press," but CNN definitely factors in (for better or worse) to what they're talking about right now.

That's going to do it for me. I had some issues with some stuff tonight (which you've already read), but I thought the run down was great. We had news from Iraq, North Korea, talk about our infrastructure, and still had time for politics. Excellent. B+

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Clinton Campaign Conundrums, Ralph Nader Back To Annoy, Gay Teen Killed, And Bringing Music To North Korea (Monday's Show)

Hi everyone. Happy new week! Why must Larry King point at me as he ends his show? It's impolite to point, Larry. Anyway, we begin things tonight with Anderson Cooper telling us that Obama and Clinton are at it again. Oh, those crazy kids. What are they doing now? A Candy Crowley piece breaks it down. The BFF bracelets the candidates were metaphorically sporting during the last debate are so going back to the store. Because now Clinton is comparing Obama to Bush and suddenly Drudge is running a 2006 picture of Obama from Kenya wearing traditional Somali dress, no doubt an effort to play on anti-Muslim sentiments. Drudge claims the picture was pushed by the Clinton camp; they say nuh uh. Something impossible to deny is the fact that this past weekend Clinton actually mocked Obama's hope message.

Okay, I'm an extremely cynical person, but even I'm not that cynical. Me thinks the wheels have come off this campaign bus. The train is off the tracks. The wings have, er, fallen off the plane. Pick your own analogy. It's sad, really. I never wanted to see her crash and burn, but that seems to be the road she's on right now. Although there's always time to turn around. We also learn in the piece that Clinton is ticked at Obama about a flyer that states she supports NAFTA. While we're told Clinton consistently rails against the trade agreement on the stump, 360 takes us on a little trip using the way-back machine and we're treated to a clip of Clinton circa 1996 singing NAFTA's praises. I love it when they do that. Obama, in the meantime, remains cool as a cucumber. (Why is it a cucumber? There are things that are cooler. Why don't we say cool as a Popsicle? And what does coolness have to do with being calm? We'll just call theses ponderances "Deep Thoughts by Eliza." And now Jack Handey is rolling in his grave. Or he would be, you know, if he were dead.)

For discussion of all this (the politics, not the cucumber), we're joined by Gloria Borger and David Gergen, who both think we're witnessing campaign messaging run amuck. Remember when Clinton found her voice before New Hampshire? Well apparently she found more than one and now she's trying out all of them. Gloria thinks there's an internal argument in her campaign over which one to pick. Then there's a little bit of talk of Clinton's "angry rant" and I know I've just been doing some smacking around of her behavior this weekend, but I have to wonder if John McCain had done the same thing, if it would be characterized as an "angry rant" or "straight talk." I suspect he would come out looking better.

Speaking of McCain, he just told reporters that his campaign success is connected to what happens in Iraq. The Gerg thinks it's clear the success of the surge has helped his campaign. Um, has there been political progress? When did surge success become conventional wisdom? What he means is the perceived success of the surge because the media has apparently decided to stop bringing us nuanced reporting from Iraq. I know they're working in soundbites here, but it's uncool to let that stuff go. And it's lazy. Before I wrap up, I'll be fair to Clinton and add that The Gerg thinks she was actually very unhappy with NAFTA when they did it. So maybe she should point some of her anger at Bill.

Moving on now to an interview with Dee Dee Myers, former Clinton White House press secretary, and author of "Why Women Should Rule the World." Because we're awesome, that's why! So okay, this talk is all about Clinton and why everything seems to be going downhill for her. Dee Dee tells us what about half of the country already knows: it can be hard to be a woman. To get ahead, you have to be tough, but oh, not too tough. Because then you're a bitch, or "the B-word," as Dee Dee puts it. And of course for Clinton it's extra hard because any time she tries to soften up, people accuse her of being insincere. From there the conversation moves to the topic of women leaders in other countries and how the US seems to be behind the curve. Dee Dee thinks that women rule differently than men and the two styles together are the most desirable situation. Sounds like a plan.

In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Gary Busey just, like, assaults Jennifer Garner on the Oscar red carpet. He gets all up in her personal space and kisses her on the neck and the best part (or most horrifying if you're Jennifer Garner) is she obviously didn't even know who he was. So to her, some strange crazy man just came and slobbered on her neck. And it was all filmed by E! Anderson then makes a pitch to Busey, who is totally watching 360 and not passed out on his floor right now, to come and audition to be their celebrity announcer. And if you think you're all Busey'd out, well kids, 360 has an extra treat for you in the form of this indescribable Buseyrific YouTube video. Crazy has found its king. Anderson wonders if they added in the music. No Anderson, you didn't. And that just makes it even better. Whenever I think of Gary Busey I always think of the movie "Point Break." And then I think of Keanu Reeves in a wet suit and then...wait, what was I saying?

Hey, so over the past day or so have you noticed a slight annoying kind of nagging feeling penetrating your political mind? Not quite sure what it is? Well, let me bring you up to speed. Ralph Nader has decided to throw his hat into the presidential ring. I swear, does the man not have hobbies? Can't he take up golf or something instead of messing with our elections every time? In full disclosure, during the election of 2000 I was a brand spanking new voter who was just as excited as could be to punch my card for Nader. But hold onto that rotten fruit; I didn't go through with it. Back then, I didn't like Al Gore all that much (I blame the media) and though at that time I didn't hate Bush, I did suspect that he might actually be mentally retarded, so Nader it was. I was being a rebel--sticking it to the two party system. Channeling Lou Dobbs before I even knew who Lou Dobbs was. But then the race just got way too close and since I wanted to make sure Gore got elected, I switched my vote at the last minute. And he did get elected, yet somehow, here we are. Sigh.

So anyway, Nader joins us for an interview and he's all, "Big business bad." "Drug companies suck." "Yada, yada, yada." It's not that I don't agree with him; it's that I don't agree with how he's fighting for his causes. I care about healthcare, but I'm not going to go stand in the street and shout about it because that will only get me cussed at and probably hit. You have to be practical when you attack a problem. Nader tells us that this campaign is about raising awareness of issues, but if that's all he wants, why doesn't he just raise money to buy airtime or ad space. Money talks in this world. The more you have, the more you're heard. Ralph should just buy himself the publicity instead of getting it by screwing up a presidential election.

Transitioning now to a Dan Simon piece on a 15 year old named Larry King who was gunned down at his school for being gay. If he was straight, Larry might have been given grief for having the same name as a 200-year-old talk show host, but because he was gay he was relentlessly bullied for wearing a feminine look. Then one day a fellow classmate shot him in the back of the head. The shooter is barely 14 and has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder and carrying out a hate crime. Dan then tell us the case is complicated because it's believed the shooter may have been humiliated because Larry had a crush on him and made it known. Oh, please. This "gay panic" stuff is sick and should never hold up in court. Just think if something tried to claim "black panic." Don't get me wrong, the kid is too young to be charged as an adult, but a hate crime should never be rationalized.

For more on this topic, we're joined by adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Sophy. They talk about bullying and Charles' solution is to work tolerance into the educational system. Yeah, that's gonna work well. Has Charles met the Right Wing? Because they don't so much like that word. Anderson points out that slurs against gays are still accepted in most high schools. Yep, pretty much. I remember years ago having a really long argument with one of the brother's friends because he just didn't get why it was wrong to refer to something bad by saying "that's so gay." Kid probably still says it. But people are probably more tolerant now than they were a couple of decades ago, so, baby steps, I guess.

Our last piece of the night is from Christiane Amanpour, on the disabling of North Korea's nuclear facility. In return, the North Koreans want fuel, aid, and to be off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. That ain't happening yet, so the disabling has slowed down. But it's not a total wash because both countries seem committed to the deal; it's just going to take a while for both sides to get what they want. In related news, the New York Philharmonic orchestra is there. Uh, because they heard North Korea is lovely this time of year? I don't really know what's up with that, but after her piece, Christiane tell us they're being very well received. Hm, maybe we should always include music in our diplomacy.

The Shot tonight is this adorable kid singing "Hey Jude." Oh, and he's got a guitar. Apparently he does a whole bunch of Beatles songs. Anderson does not believe the YouTube post's claim that he doesn't get help from family or friends. I gotta go with our anchor on this one. The kid's doing the Beatles. Hello! Of course he gets by with a little help from his friends. It's in the lyrics, man. The show was pretty good tonight. Actual other news creeped out from under all the politics. I love the politics, but the tunnel vision on the topic is a bit much. B

Friday, February 22, 2008

New York Times Piece On McCain, Campaign 08, Latino Voters, School Shooter, And Toxic Satellite (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everybody. Did you miss me? I barely watched any of Tuesday's primary coverage, so I had nothing to post about. It's just getting a little too suffocatingly Groundhog Day-like for me. But I'll get over it. We kick off Wednesday's show with Eliza being in a good mood because I just watched Jon Stewart, saver-of-my-sanity and one of my most favorite people ever. There are very few people that can make me sit through a whole hour of Larry King, is all I'm saying. Anyway, up top, Anderson Cooper informs us that Thursday's "New York Times" will be running a piece about McCain's alleged relationship with a female lobbyist. Ooooh, scandal! It's about that time, isn't it? According to the piece, during the 2000 election McCain aides had to keep him away from said lobbyist for his own good because they believed he was having a relationship with her. And besides vague implications regarding the lobbying, that's pretty much it. Both McCain and the lobbyist deny the charges.

So okay, a man that has already admitted to extramarital affairs might have had one with a lobbyist. Almost a decade ago. Um...that's it? C'mon "New York Times," at least give me a "wide stance" or some toe tapping. I can't work with this. In all seriousness, I do have big problems with infidelity, but in McCain's case this is not a new revelation. Also, the possibility that this lobbyist was able to influence McCain's senate work is a definite concern and definite story, but at this point in time the facts are way too vague to make that kind of judgment. There is no there there. Of course that may not continue to be the case and I'm curious to find out what the "NYT" might also have up their sleeve awaiting further confirmation.

Next up, Dana Bash joins us by phone. She's been talking to McCain advisers and they are pissed off royally. Let's just say they'll be canceling their "NYT" subscriptions. Oh, who am I kidding? They're conservatives; they never had subscriptions in the first place. Anyway, apparently people from the "NYT" met with the McCain campaign for months about this story and the campaign claims they have documentation that disputes the claims. It seems the "NYT" might have actually killed the story a couple of times before, but now it's on their website. According to the "New Republic, " (I don't know how they got into this) there was great unease at the "NYT" about running the story. What just happened here? Everyone is all up in arms because of the source of the story. The paper of record. All I have to say about that is two words: Judy Miller. And here's two more: Jayson Blair.

For discussion of all this, we're joined by David Gergen, Bay Buchanan, Jonathan Capehart of "The Washington Post," and political analyst Keli Goff. The Gerg, who optimistically thinks the best of everyone, talks about McCain's honor, but admits there's probably more to come out from both sides. Bay is also calmly thoughtful about the situation. Oh wait, no she's not. She totally goes off on the "NYT" accusing them of dropping the story now for maximum damage. Anderson rationally points out that they may not have had enough evidence to go with the story before. Bay then asks what they learned since that time and Anderson says they don't know, which, der, is kind of the whole point. After that, Bay explains to us that unlike the democrats, republicans are the party of values and it's just assumed that they're loyal to their families. Yes, because we democrats assume our significant others are out there doing everything on two legs.

I swear, the gal these people have. There's a whole list of republicans who have recently not been loyal to their families (Larry Craig, David Vitter, Ted Haggard...), so if any party needs to stop assuming, it's not the democrats. Perhaps Bay is ticked because she worked for the Romney campaign and if this had broken earlier she might still have a job. Now she's gotta slum it on CNN. It's a hard knock life. Jonathan and Bay then talk a bit about the timing of the story, with Jonathan taking the side of reason. Keli also gets in on the time talk, shooting a hole in Bay's argument by noting if the "NYT" wanted to hurt the republicans they could have sat on it longer. She also doesn't think the infidelity thing will be a factor anyway. Bay disagrees, bringing up how the full-of-baggage Giuliani got crushed in the primaries. That's because the idiot only campaigned in one frickin state! The Gerg then takes Bay to task, pointing out she might want to get off her republican high horse because they didn't seem too outraged over the House page scandal. He also notes how everyone seems to be focused on the "NYT" more than McCain. Speaking of the "NYT," this story reminds me of what happened back in 2004. Apparently it was lost on them that not going with a story before the election still affected the election--just the opposite way.

Moving on now to a Candy Crowley piece that details the latest in the never-ending Obama versus Clinton saga. Tuesday night he kicked butt in Wisconsin and Hawaii, leaving her campaign close to taking its final breath. She needs Texas and Ohio and if she doesn't get them it looks like it's over. Of course we're talking about a Clinton, so never say never because she will not be going gentle into that good night. Prepare for raging against the dying of the light. We then go back to the panel and the Gerg is all boggled by how poor a campaign Clinton has run. Jonathan tells us that if were to get a call from Clinton he'd tell her to find her voice again. Anderson notes if he's not a superdelegate he's not going to get any calls. Man, what a Debbie Downer-heh. I suspect I'm not the only one with green eyes for superdelegate power. Anderson then asks Bay to imagine that hell has frozen over and Clinton calls her. Ha! Bay, by the way, would tell her the fat lady is singing. And that's why she won't be calling her-one of many reasons. Keli thinks the only thing Clinton can do now is hope Obama makes a mistake. Anderson says, "wow," but hey, it seems to me that being one of the last men standing is pretty much how McCain became the presumed nominee.

In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" we learn that the FAA is investigating Go! Airlines to see if their pilots fell asleep because apparently their plane ended up 15 miles off course. Holy crap! See, this is why flying scares me. I don't like people I don't know having control of my life. Oh, also? Erica Hill and Anderson are both freaked out by the exclamation point in "Go! Airlines." It's like "Okay! Magazine." Personally, I think eliciting seeming excitement over one's product or service though manipulation of punctuation is a little sad. Anyway, we then move on to Erica playing us a clip of Anderson's appearance on Conan, where Anderson relays that at the recent republican debate, Arnold Schwarzenegger motioned to him to let Anderson know he'd noticed he'd been working out.

What's interesting is that Erica has been unable to find tape of this alleged incident. In fact, she even called the governator's office. "No, you didn't," say Anderson. "Of course we did," says Erica. "This is CNN." That's right, the most trusted name in news...about Anderson Cooper's biceps. The governor did not return their calls, but Anderson swears this happened. "I did not make this up, Erica Hill," he says quite flustered, as he balls up his script and throws it at her. Oh! Oh! Violence on the 360 set! Let the record show that Anderson is very defensive about the guns. Aw, I believe you Anderson (though I'm a little on the fence regarding some of that John McEnroe story). By the way, I don't remember when I first noticed Anderson's guns, but I remember what I said: "Oh wow. He didn't have those in Israel."

Transitioning now to a Gary Tuchman piece on how Obama and Clinton are courting the Latino vote. Their eyes are on Texas, where about 36 percent of residents have Latino heritage. This means it's time to pull out the Latino cred. Clinton tells voters how she lived in the state for three months and became addicted to Mexican food. Okay. Luckily there's some policy stuff too. For now though the race is tight, so I guess Clinton is going to use everything she can--even a love of Mexican food.

On now to discussion with Abbie Boudreau and forensic psychologist Chris Mohandie about that Northern Illinois University shooter. Abbie tells us that the girlfriend says the guy had been taking Xanax, Ambien, and Prozac, but had quit the Prozac before the shooting. Chris doesn't think any of that is enough to make a guy start shooting people. So...we still don't know much and quite frankly probably never will.

Next up, Jamie McIntyre joins us from the Pentagon to tell us about that toxic satellite hurtling towards earth. I've been slightly freaked out about this thing ever since I heard about it a few weeks ago or whenever. I know the odds of getting hit with a satellite are pretty rare, but I've been known to have bad luck. Back when I had Showtime I used to watch that show "Dead Like Me". Anyway, in the pilot episode the lead character is killed by a toilet seat from the Mir Space Station and when I watched that I remember thinking that would totally happen to me. So I've been a little wary. But apparently I can relax because the good people of the US Navy just shot that puppy down, assistance from Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck not required. Anderson then informs us that some in the international community are concerned this is a war game exercise. Great. Now I'm paranoid again. Jamie tells us he's been reassured this is not what's going on. "But what it does show is, if the U.S. wants to shoot a satellite out of the sky, it can," says Jamie. Take that, China!

They then change things up a bit and have Erica give us the "Beat 360" spiel. As she does her little dance she notes that Anderson is dancing too. Then when the camera cuts to him he's sitting stone faced and simply shakes his head. "It's interesting that he stopped," she says. A comedy team, these two. The Shot tonight is the rescue of a pregnant Bengal tiger that strayed into an Indian village. The villagers basically freak out and throw things at her, but I guess she's okay in the end.

So anyway, regular readers know I have often complained when the broadcast has breaking news on it and then they just repeat the hour without specifically noting it's tape. Well, apparently someone else has noticed the problems that can arise when you don't pay attention to those things. Will they change things now? Eh, who knows? Another thing I wanted to mention was Anderson's blog post about stalkers, which hilariously read like a warped version of Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck" bit. (You might be a stalker if...) But anyway, the fact that some people got so upset is a little disturbing. And while I probably (hopefully) don't have to tell you this, I guess it should be noted that Anderson is just a journalist who doesn't owe us anything and the only expectation we should have of him (and others) is that he do his job well. Plus the fact that he only said that in the first place because it worked as a good transition from the topic of live blogging to his Conan stalker story. Talk show appearances are usually semi scripted, so basically people got offended over a transition. Ridiculous. The show was okay. B

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama Plagiarism Charges, Bush The Elder Endorses McCain, Youngest Superdelegate, And Interview With College Shooter's Girlfriend (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. Happy New Week! We're beginning tonight with Anderson Cooper telling us that the democratic race is close. Very close. They can both taste it, people! (And it tastes like chicken.) But it seems the Obama campaign might have hit a small snag. Or did they? A Candy Crowley piece breaks it down for us. As per usual, the two candidates are playing a game of back-and-forth, with Clinton going on the offensive against Obama's alleged lack of solutions. But this time she has something else up her sleeve too: plagiarism charges. Apparently a part of one of Obama's speeches originated with a speech given by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Ruh roh. Although before we give Obama the Joe Biden treatment, it's important to point out that Patrick is totally cool with it and Obama claims they borrow from each other. I'm guessing this explanation will probably suffice for now.

I don't think Clinton really did herself any favors here with this calling out, but then again, with so much of Obama's campaign based on words, it's a legitimate issue to explore. I never mentioned it before, but I noticed quite a while ago that Obama had done a little borrowing. Alice Walker deserves a shout out is all I'm saying. I pretty much have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Plagiarism is a very serious issue, but Obama's speeches contain universal ideals that I'm not sure can be completely owned by one person. In any regards, I think perhaps the junior senator needs to learn that attribution is your friend.

For discussion of all this, we're next joined by David Gergen, Bay Buchanan, and Keith Boykin editor of "The Daily Voice." What's with Bay popping up all the time now? It's like a revolving door. Anyway, nobody on the panel thinks this is a death blow for Obama or anything. In fact, it seems like the general consensus is "meh." The Gerg thinks it's was a mistake, but not plagiarism. Keith tells us all candidates steal from each other (yay?). And when Bay is asked about a clip showing Bill Clinton kind of going off, she changes the subject and accuses Hillary Clinton of stealing from her brother Pat. Apparently in politics, everyone has sticky fingers.

Moving on now to a Tom Foreman piece where we learn that John McCain has dug himself a hole. The Maverick has done a little borrowing himself lately. Specifically, he's promised no new taxes. Sound familiar? Maybe you need to read his lips first. No new taxes was the broken promise of Bush 41, who has coincidentally just endorsed McCain. So, will the promise be kept this time? Eh, probably not so much. In case he hasn't noticed, (and he should have, since these are his issues), we kind of have a massive deficit, we're fighting two really expensive wars, and baby boomers will be retiring soon. All that's going to require some dough. But no worries. Maybe he'll just do what Bush 43 did and put the debt on the backs of your grandchildren. The kids will love it!

Back with our panel, both Keith and The Gerg are fairly boggled about this pledge, Keith deeming it irresponsible and The Gerg wondering how well he'll do managing the economy. Bay on the other hand, thinks this is all about gaining conservative love. You know, I have to say, I really don't understand conservatives when it comes to taxes. Nobody likes taxes. Of course we all want to keep as much of our money as we can. But taxes do a lot of good too. Sure, there's always something someone doesn't want to pay for--if I had a choice I'd rather not fund the war--but there's enough good to pay for that a part of me doesn't mind so much. So when someone prioritizes taxes above the war or healthcare, it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Actually, it tastes like greediness.

In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Anderson and Erica Hill inform us that Princess Diana's former butler is back in the news. Again?! I swear, it's been like a decade. When are they going to let that poor woman rest in peace? Anyway, apparently there's some video of the butler claiming he lied to the Princess Diana inquest and lovely things like that. Anderson informs us this jerk has already written four books about the late princess. Gonna exploit every cent (or, uh, euro) he can, I guess. You stay classy, butler dude! Oh, also? Anderson deserves a high five for this: "I have always avoided interviewing him, frankly, like, because it seems like playing into it." Psst, next time apply that same reasoning to Britney Spears coverage. Just saying.

Next up, we have a David Mattingly "Keeping Them Honest" piece on contributions to superdelegates. It seems that both Obama and Clinton have given out much coinage to these now very power people, leading to some whispers of vote buying. David paints this as all very unseemly, but is it? Not really. See, thing is, all democratic Congress members are superdelegates. And what did they want in 2006? To take back Congress. In the piece, it's brought up that my senator, Claire McCaskill, received funds from Obama for her 2006 campaign. Not mentioned is he also stumped for her in the state, because, well, he wanted her to win. They all wanted her to win, because again, they wanted to increase their numbers. People who were well financed helped out the little guys. I don't see anything wrong with it as it stands now.

Speaking of superdelegates, 21-year-old Jason Rae has returned to make me jealous again. Jason tells us he is still undecided and assures us he is also still unbribed. But he's definitely not unpopular. In fact, his phone and social calender seem to be quite busy: "I've met with, you know -- talked with President Clinton. I've talked with Chelsea Clinton, met with her, talked to Madeleine Albright, met with Michelle Obama, talked to Senator John Kerry, talked to Wisconsin's lieutenant governor, talked to Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. I've talked to the mayor of Milwaukee. I've talked to -- you know, everyone and anyone is trying to court my vote." Oh...shut up. And of course he's kind of likeable, so that just makes it all that more annoying. But hey man, back in 2004 Bill Clinton called me to remind me to vote, so, uh, I'm special too. Although come to think of it, he wasn't too chatty...and he kind of hung up on me when he was done talking.

Anderson brings up how Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind is no fan of the superdelegate system. Jason then goes on to start saying nice things about Kind, which has me writing "politician" in my notes, at the same time that Anderson says, "You sound like a politician right there." Yes, Jason confirms he has leader-of-the-free-world ambitions. Hopefully by the time he's old enough we'll be ready to break that wall down too. As for his vote, he thinks it should go to the party's best candidate. Initially, I thought that if I were in that situation I would vote for who carries the popular vote in my district, regardless of my preference, but, you know, if it was a Bush versus Kerry kind of situation (just both democrats), I'm not sure I could leave it to the people. It's a hard decision. And though I'm still totally jealous, I'm kind of glad that's not something I have to worry about.

After Jason, there's some Erica and Anderson banter that leads to a bizarre childhood picture war. Um, okay. Moving on to an interview Abbie Boudreau had with Jessica Baty, girlfriend of Northern Illinois University shooter Steven Kazmierczak. They had been living together, she had no idea he was capable of what happened, and she's pretty much in shock. And...this really doesn't answer any important questions, so there's that.

Coming back from commercial, Anderson points out that he had just said 'y'all.' "I was in New Orleans, and I think I picked up a y'all," he tell us. Um, Anderson, you actually say that all the time. Just FYI. Your sporadic light southern dialect has been bemusing me for well over two and a half years now. But don't get neurotic about it; it's kind of cute. Just don't say 'Missourah' and we're cool. The Shot tonight is a sea rescue of 10 French sailors. Scary. Anyway, the show was pretty good. Oh, for those wondering, I saw Michael Ware on American Morning this morning. Anderson had said in his live blogging he was going to be on 360 last week, but...nada. What's up with that? Bring on the Michael! Also, I'm going to have to start calling the behind-the-scenes blog posts "Sporadic Blog From the Back Row." Just saying. Show gets a B.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Shooting At Northern Illinois University, Politics, and Live From New Orleans (Thursday's Show)

Hi everybody. Tonight Anderson Cooper is coming at us live from Saint Bernard Parish outside of New Orleans, but we're kicking things off with the BREAKING NEWS of a shooting at Northern Illinois University. Sigh. And that's a two-fold sigh. Because obviously a shooting is news no one wants, but also, dammit, this always happens. They finally (finally!) go back to New Orleans and the more immediate takes over. It's like when Warren Jeffs got captured (which granted was a good thing) and it preempted a lot of the Katrina first anniversary coverage. Or when the Virginia Tech shooting ruined their Afghanistan plans. Also, wasn't that City Council shooting just last week? I know that second amendment purists like to say that people kill people, guns don't kill people, but it seems like guns really, really help out.

Candy Crowley joins us live with the latest. Six people are dead, including the gunman. Apparently the shooter was a graduate student, but that's about all the detail I'm going to go into because I honestly don't know if all of these initial reports held up. After Candy, Tom Foreman gives us a rough outline of how the shooting went down and we get some requisite witness sound bites. Tom then joins us live and we learn that the university took steps after Virginia Tech to make the school safer. Sophomore Zach Seward was in the lecture hall when everything happened and Anderson has an interview with him next.

Transitioning now to Anderson's live shot suddenly being filled with enthusiastic Habitat for Humanity, National Civilian Community Corps, and AmeriCorps volunteers, who are waving signs and woo hooing it up. Woo hoo! We then bounce back to Erica Hill in New York to talk about politics. Seriously? Fine, but bumping this stuff to the headlines for one day wouldn't have been a travesty. Although maybe I should just shut up before they're all over a missing white girl. So anyway, the big news of the day is that Mitt Romney endorsed John McCain for president. Last week they hated each other; now they're BFF's. Ain't politics grand? The other guys (and gal!) did stuff too, but you'll live even if I don't blog it for you.

Moving back to Anderson, we're joined by radio talk show host Larry Elders and Family Research Council prez Tony Perkins to talk about how the conservative republicans still have their boxers in a twist over McCain. These two seem to be open to the idea of a McCain presidency, but I'm going to have to shun Larry because he's annoying the hell out of me by using phrases like "cut and run." Yeah, way to unite the country there. Tony, on the other hand, is all about strengthening the family and even wants an official family czar. I have no idea what he's talking about, but I'm pretty sure the evil gay agenda is no doubt worked in there somehow. If Tony really cared about strong families, maybe he'd be advocating for universal healthcare. After all, half of bankruptcies are related to medical bills and stress over money can definitely break a couple up. Yeah, I know, too practical.

In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Erica tells us of a promotion this radio station was having for Valentine's Day call "Ax Your Ex's Stuff." Pretty self explanatory--you bring in the ex's stuff; they hack it up. What they were not expecting was a woman to bring a live dog! Okay, even if your ex is a horrible, horrible person, you yourself must be a horrible person if you're going to take it out on a poor defenseless dog. Anyway, the dog was obviously not axed. Remember the strong feelings about the Vick case? Well, people went nuts and now the dog has a brand new home. Also? Anderson calls the woman a "moron," which kind of made me laugh. Don't get that kind of stuff from him usually. But that she is, Anderson; that she is.

Back with the volunteers, Anderson tells us about the optimism that seems to be permeating the city and, hey, that's new. Employment is up, public schools have reopened, tourism is back, and the NBA All Star game is there. On the bummer side, crime's a big problem and infrastructure still sucks. The infrastructure thing is very disconcerting and leads us into an Anderson piece on all the homeless in New Orleans--about 12,000 people. That's double what it was pre-Katrina. The bottom line is that Katrina wiped out a lot of rental housing and now rents have skyrocketed. Now about 200 people live in a makeshift camp under a highway overpass. (Think Bill O'Reilly will pay them a visit?) And FEMA is being its usual slow and messy self. One man we meet in the piece is just now getting a FEMA apartment and a chance to start over. For those keeping score, it's been two and a half years since the hurricane.

Transitioning back to the shooting now, Susan Roesgen has the latest from the campus. Kinda weird seeing as how she used to be based in New Orleans. Anyway, Anderson then has another witness interview, this time with Rosie Moroni.

Next up, we have a Sean Callebs "Keeping Them Honest" piece and I'd say you won't believe the subject, but at this point you probably will. Trailers! Still with the trailers! As the story goes, FEMA bought 120,000 trailers after Katrina, but that was too many, so they sold 10,000 at 40 cents on the dollar. But now FEMA is buying them back. Why? Because they're poisoning people. Basically, they're toxic due to high formaldehyde levels. The real kicker is how they've put a bunch of these trailers in big lots, thus concentrating the formaldehyde and poisoning people in homes nearby. Nice. Of course, all of this isn't new. FEMA has known about the toxic trailers since March 2006 and even instructed their employees not to enter the trailers when it's sunny because heat increases the concentration. Unbelievable. It's like they just don't care about these people, which may very well be the case.

After his piece, Sean joins us live and we're told that the government has given up on trailers. He also talks about the optimism in the city. While this is going on, the volunteers add more evidence to my thesis that cameras turn people into idiots. Yes, we see you all waving like crazy people; you can stop now. Anderson then talks to two volunteers and then we learn that Lebron James is the newest contender for a chance to be the "Voice of 360." My verdict? Meh. I think I'm still partial to Ozzy as of now. The Shot tonight is a marine that comes home from Iraq and surprises his kids by hiding in a big Valentine. Aw. This of course reminds everyone of this tearjerker homecoming. That's it for this hour. The next hour is a taped repeat, but given all the BREAKING NEWS stuff, I think it's pretty messed up that they don't specifically note it's taped. There's even a big "Live" graphic that flashes real quick. Not cool guys, not cool. Most people are going to be visually drawn to the "breaking news" graphics and not realize the absence of a live bug.

So, the show was kinda...disappointing. Obviously they can't control breaking news, but only two pieces on New Orleans? Per instructions of my friend Chelsea, I'm supposed to get all mean about this ("I'm depending on you to chew 360 out about this on your blog and make them cry like little girls...," she says to me after the show), but I'm kinda tired (smack downs take energy, people!). Basically I'm just wondering why this is all we get when they actually go to the city and why we can't have semi regular pieces when the show is in New York. Stuff has happened that they didn't cover. Yeah, it's great to talk with the volunteers, but what's going on with the government down there? Is Nagin refusing interviews? How's the new governor working out? What's Washboard Chaz been up to? Okay, that last one's not completely serious, but you get the picture. I hope they go back soon. B-

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Roger Clemens Testifies, HGH Talk, And More Politics (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everybody. I know I'm way late with this, but better late than never, right? We're kicking things off tonight with a little testimony going down on Capitol Hill. Oooh, perhaps some issues on Iraq or maybe climate change? Nope. Apparently those things don't draw a crowd. But baseball player Roger Clemens being questioned about using steroids? Now we're talking. Okay, long story short, Brian McNamee, former friend and trainer to Clemens says he injected the player. Clemens says nuh uh. "No doubt about it. Someone's lying," says Anderson Cooper.

Watching the testimony all go down was 360's resident baseball lover Gary Tuchman, and he now joins us live. Gary tells us that former teammate Andy Pettitte testifed that in 1999 or 2000 Clemens told him he used HGH. There's pretty much no reason for Pettitte to lie, but for his part, Clemens claims the other player misheard or something. Right. Gary also tells us that the hearing was weirdly partisan. Hm, I wonder why that might be. Apparently everything is political nowadays. Gary tried to ask why Clemens didn't call a doctor when his wife felt bad after taking HGH, but he didn't really get anywhere. That's right, his wife took the drug. I think the liar in this little he said/he said is fairly easy to pick out.

Next up, we've got Jeffrey Toobin in studio for the legal side of things. Basically? Both men could face perjury. And, uh, nothing's probably going to come of these hearing. Well then. It's always nice to waste everyone's time. Moving on to Erica Hill in studio. Woo hoo! Welcome, Erica! She's got her own little section. Interesting. Anyway, Erica is here to tackle the topic of why the heck Congress is wasting their time on this anyway. She reads some blog comments and pulls some newspaper quotes and it's all very eye rolly against Congress. But you know, I have to say, no one put a gun to the media's head and made them turn this into a circus.

Congress is doing other things, one of which has involved the very important FISA legislation, which Bush says we have to have or we'll all die, while at the same time he refuses to sign anything that doesn't provide immunity to the telecom companies. That's right, the president is essentially saying he choses the phone companies over your safety. But 360's metaphoric eye rolling is perfectly warranted because they've been all over the FISA story. Oh, wait. No they haven't. Sorry kids, I'm going to have to go with Congress on this one.

On now to Sanjay Gupta here live to talk about HGH. Hey Sanjay, it's been a while. Remember when Sanjay used to pop up after every story that contained anything every remotely medical? It was kind of hilarious. Perhaps that's part of why they stopped doing that. Anyway, I'm just going to skip right to the money shot of this interview. Anderson has an interesting question to ask Sanjay: "The other thing I have heard about steroids is it makes your bits and pieces smaller. Is that true?" Bits and pieces? He is so 12. This of course makes Sanjay crack up and try to get him to ask again. But then Sanjay (sort of) gets serious: "If you're giving the testosterone, the testes will say, look, we don't have to produce it anymore. We're getting it somewhere else. So, they will actually shrink. It's true." I love that in Sanjay's explanation, the testes talk.

After Sanjay, Erica and Anderson do a little bantering and then Erica has the headlines, which include the news that the writers strike is over! Woo hoo! Now I don't have to feel guilty about watching online content and Jon Stewart doesn't look so distressed. And then there's the whole tv shows going back into production thing. "I was worried about my '30 Rock.' I was worried about my 'Law & Order: SVU' -- or SUV, or SVU. I always get that confused," says Anderson. Well, unless it's Law & Order: Sports Utility Vehicle (you know it's coming!), I think you had it right the first time. Erica is all about "Lost" and I'm going to have to give her a virtual high-five on that. We then move on to "What Were They Thinking?" which is of a paraplegic man that was dumped on the ground by a deputy at a Florida jail because she didn't buy his whole not being able to walk thing. Nice. Erica then shows us a cop melting down on a skateboard-holding kid. I guess that was our bonus edition. Then Anderson cruelly pressures Erica to live-blog. Aw, on her first day and everything.

Transitioning now to a Candy Crowley piece on the latest between Obama and Clinton. I don't know if I'm going to be able to take this crap all the way to the convention. But anyway, Obama is hitting Clinton on NAFTA, the war, and the bankruptcy bill. She's then hitting him back, saying he doesn't have solutions to economic challenges. And Obama's also apparently looking ahead because he's slamming McCain on tax cuts. On we go. Next up, John King returns to his map board and depresses me by saying that unless one of the candidates has a blow out in future races, no one is going to clench this thing. Sigh.

For discussion, we're joined by Joe Johns, Amy Holmes, and political consultant Hank Sheinkopf. They talk about Obama's momentum and in regards to Clinton, the general consensus is she needs to win Texas and Ohio. Amy brings up Clinton's almost-crying moment and notes that seemed to help her, but I think that's crap. Or maybe I'm just wishing that were crap. Hank then says that if Obama is the nominee and superdelegates take that from him it could cause an explosion in the democratic party that gives McCain the presidency. Okay, that's scary. But I can't help but think that a lot of this is hype. C'mon, you know the media is all about pushing the drama.

Next up, we have a Joe Johns piece on brokered conventions. The last time this happened was 1972 and it wasn't pretty. But the country and party survived and the rest of this piece isn't really anything new, so moving on to a David Mattingly piece on celebs and HGH, which is pretty much the same piece they ran last month.

From here we have some Erica and Anderson banter over the naked cowboy (who has made the headlines for a lawsuit) and then Anderson notes that some people on the blog are not fond of the cheesy "Beat 360" music. "They don't get it. It's ironic," says Anderson. Well, judging by the blog comments, I'd say it's pretty clear irony is lost on some of his viewers. The Shot tonight is a beagle named Uno winning the Westminster Dog Show and then they whip out the "Dramatic Animal Video!" for the winner of the ugliest dog in the world. Aw.

The show was okay. I think the baseball testimony was definitely a legitimate story to cover, but the fact that they went all out on that and didn't touch the FISA stuff is fairly mind boggling. But hey, they cleaned up in the ratings (pizza party!), so there's that. As for the addition of Erica, I kind of thought she was going to be a correspondent like Gary Tuchman or Randi Kaye. Perhaps she is and they're just easing her in, so I'm just going to hold off a little bit on commenting on all that. Finally, it's a bit off topic, but I think everyone should read this heartfelt and moving Cal Perry blog post about Iraq. The show gets a C+

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Potomac Primaries! Potomac Primaries! Potomac Primaries! (Tuesday's Show)

Edit from Eliza: Hi guys. No, I haven't forgotten about you. I'm just really tired. I'll have Wednesday's and Thursday's reviews up this weekend.

Hi everybody. Well, I have to say, after the excitement of last (Super) Tuesday's primaries and caucuses, today was kind of a let down. Been there and done that on a much bigger scale, you know? But I'm sure everyone would appreciate their chance to vote, so another night of continuous primary coverage it was!. I believe I've noted before that I have issues with CNN's Election Center. All those screens hurt my brain. It's a bit much, is all I'm saying. So I started out watching coverage on MSNBC because their presentation is a little less..."Ah!!!" Of course, then I had to contend with Chris Matthews, who is like an annoying graphic in human form, which I decided is actually worse. Needless to say, I found my way back over to CNN before Anderson Cooper even graced us with his presence.

In all honesty, I really didn't pay much attention to anyone's coverage. It seems Obama and McCain are going home (or to the next campaign stop, anyway) happy tonight because both men swept their respective races in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. As for the losers, Huckabee's still hanging on with unwarranted optimism and Clinton is looking ahead to Texas and Ohio. Once again, we heard all the candidates speak and though I love to hear from Obama, man, I'm going to have that speech memorized by the time this is all over. And if I hear McCain say "my friends" one more time, I'm probably going to scream. You're not Reagan! I'm surprised he's not getting called on that little pander because I don't think he could get any more insincere about it if he tried. With regards to the coverage, it was pretty much same old, same old. Though I did enjoy the interview with the 21 year old super-delegate. And I hate him. Okay, okay, I don't hate him; I'm totally jealous! Such power! It cracked me up when Anderson Cooper asked him if it was the most interesting race he's ever seen. Of course it is. He's 21!

There was no live blogging tonight because no one (especially him) wanted Anderson's brain to implode from extreme multi-tasking. But you know, now that I think about it, maybe next time Anderson's stuck in the Election Center they should go ahead and do it without him. Blogs have open threads all the time and it would give people an opportunity to chat with each other without having to wade through all the "Anderson, look at me!" type posts. (By the way, what he's doing isn't technically live blogging. Really, it's just chatting. This is live blogging, which would be impossible for him to do. But we'll just overlook the term usage since we love him and all.)

As you can probably tell, I've become a tad obsessed with this blogging stuff. It's just that I'm fascinated by how different news outlets are choosing to embrace new mediums. For example, I was shocked to stumble upon this a few weeks ago. The Nightly News with Brian Williams has a discussion club! I was sooo tempted to join, but I already spend way too much of my free time online. It's very cool though that Brian Williams takes their questions. Anyway, I hope 360 gets the kinks worked out of the blog soon so they can overtake Greta (at least online). The news business is like my fantasy baseball and I want my team to win! Or, you know, I just want actual news to prevail over a perpetual stakeout of Aruba.

Finally, I'm not sure if you've been following the David Shuster "pimping" debacle (see The Huffington Post for a good sum up of the situation with commentary I mostly agree with), but I've been paying pretty close attention. I'm actually not bringing it up to discuss what happened (at least not in this post), but I happened to be reading this blog post about the situation, when something caught my eye (emphasis is mine):
CNN, on the other hand, is straight news. Wolf Blitzer isn't going to give you his opinion on a damn thing, if he has one on anything (I secretly believe that Blitzer is a robot).
Bwah! The belief is widespread! The CNNers can be so mockable sometimes. Anyway, that'll do it. I've lost count on how many more of these primary doohickeys we have left, but it's a long way until November.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Upcoming Primaries, Superdelegates, And Michelle Obama Interview (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. Happy new week! I would have preferred my week to start off with a little less ice. There's nothing like driving down the highway and passing car after car that's slid off to the side. White knuckle time! But now I am warm and toasty at home and we're kicking things off with a rundown on what the candidates did on the trail today. Anderson Cooper then throws to a Candy Crowley piece on the continued Obama versus Clinton race. The story of the day is Obamamentum! He had a pretty victorious weekend and is poised to do well in Tuesday's primaries. And Clinton would prefer that everyone just shut up about it. Her press isn't exactly as good, with Candy noting she "threw her campaign manager overboard for a new one." Except I'm not sure that's what happened. I mean, she's still with the campaign, so I wouldn't call that thrown overboard.

Next up, we have Tom Foreman in front of a map and he breaks down all the delegates that are up for grabs. It's nice to see Tom getting to play with maps again, though I'm sure John never lets him touch the special magic map. From here we go to an episode of "Political Squares" (doesn't it look like "Hollywood Squares" sometimes?) with the squares being occupied by Candy Crowley Roland Martin, Bay Buchanan, and John King. They begin by talking about the shake-up in the Clinton campaign, with Candy pointing the finger of blame at too many messages and their money situation. John tells us some democrats are actually comparing Clinton to Bush's tendency to surround himself with "yes" men. Oh, ouch. A comparison to Bush is way harsh. They then talk a bit about how caucus states tend to favor Obama, but the panel doesn't really tackle the issue deeply. A friend pointed me to this Kevin Drum article that looks at caucuses and it's worth discussion. There's a good argument to be made that caucusing disenfranchises the working class and older voters.

Coming back from commercial, we get a snippet of Chelsea Clinton campaigning for her mom. Weird. It doesn't really seem possible to know of someone for so long, but never really hear her talk before. Anyway, then we're back to the panel and after some more Obama/Clinton talk, they tackle the other side of the aisle. Math will inevitably crown McCain the nominee (sorry Huckabee), but the question is whether or not conservatives will actually vote for him. Bay has her theories, but eh, what does anyone know? My guess is they'll bluster for months and then slink into the polls holding their noses come November. I'm starting to get the picture these people won't be happy unless we reanimate Reagan.

Transitioning now to our newest contender trying out to be the "Voice of 360." Fran Drescher! Oh my bleeding ears! I don't know, Fran, it's going to be hard to beat Ozzy. There's something about the fact that he clearly had no idea where he was, which really brought the performance to another level. You know, I think the funniest thing about this whole bit are the people freaking out about it on the blog because they inexplicably think it's for real. It's called deadpan sarcasm, people. It's all the rage with the kids these days. But anyway, on now to tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" which is not really a "What Were They Thinking?" at all, but just an excuse to run adorable video from the Internets. AC360 Review is very pro-adorable video, so that's not a complaint. In the too-cute-for-words clip, we meet brothers Harry and Charlie, and learn it's best to keep appendages away from Charlie's mouth. Also? That accent!

Moving on now to a Tom Foreman piece on superdelegates. Okay, so basically there are about 800 of these superdelegates and their votes count more than yours and mine and...I don't like it! Right now all the superdelegates I've heard on television (which granted, has been like three) are talking about how they don't want to choose and maybe they'll vote how their state did and...yada yada yada. BS. You know there's going to be arm twisting and bribes and, again, I'm not thrilled.

After Tom, we go back to our panel and they discuss the superdelegate situation. The conventional wisdom is that Clinton has the upper hand if it get decided this way, but Roland reminds us that two-thirds are undecided. Other factors that might have a big influence on the outcome of the race is an Edwards endorsement, which seems to be forthcoming. And then there's Florida and Michigan. They were stripped of their delegates, disenfranchising their voters. There's been some talk of reversing that decision, which obviously Clinton would be in favor of, given that she "won" the states. Bay starts talking about all the back-room deals the Clintons would be doing if this thing goes all the way to the convention. "Wait a minute. Doesn't everyone -- in all fairness, doesn't everyone do back room deals? I mean, these are politicians, after all," says Anderson. See people, he's trying to be fair. I've been hearing a lot of anti-Clinton bias accusations, is all I'm saying. Anyway, then Roland notes that African Americans are feeling slighted by the Clinton campaign and there's a risk of them staying home from the polls. Hey, nobody stays home! We didn't just go through seven years of hell (and one to go) to screw this up now.

Next up, we have a John King piece on Huckabee. Math is not Huckabee's friend, but he doesn't seem to notice. He's staying in this race as long as the race will have him. You gotta kind of admire the tenacity. You know, after you've shuddered at the crazy. From here we go into clips of Michelle Obama on Larry King. I haven't seen much of her until recently, but I think she'd make a good first lady. She's poised, but also real, if that makes sense. I have nothing against Laura Bush (other than her husband, of course), but she always came off a little Stepford to me. Kinda harsh, yeah, but I don't have a better description.

Gary Tuchman has our headlines tonight and we learn that, oh noes, BlackBerry service went down today. Gary and Anderson's lives were thrown into complete disarray! It's a miracle they made it to work. "My name is Anderson Cooper, and I'm addicted to my BlackBerry," says Anderson. Well, I hope they didn't get the shakes too bad. The Shot tonight is a fiery crash that happened during a drag race at the Winter Nationals competition. The dude survived with only second degree burns and singed eyelashes. Not bad. Gary says you need to be extra careful when going 290 miles per hour. "A lot of experience of that, do you? " asks Anderson. "On the West Side Highway in Manhattan. I tried to do that regularly when I was in New York," says Gary. So that's who almost ran over me when I was in New York. Kidding. "When I look at you, I see Gary 'Drag Racer' Tuchman. No doubt about it," says Anderson. Totally. Hey, he does roller-blade and run marathons--you never know.

So apparently the blogging experiment continues. I'm assuming they're still working out the whole moderating thing. For a week or two things were just automatically going through (which I decided not to mention, lest the Ron Paul supporters find out and reap vengeance for the debates-heh) and things really picked up, but now they're back to a situation that will actually dissuade comments if they're not careful. What I mean is that people are more likely to post if they know their comments will go through. Anderson mentioned in the blog tonight that he liked it when people talked to each other. I'm assuming this is ultimately what they want since it's what will bring them a lot of hits (which seems to be the point), but with the moderation like it is now, it's almost impossible to hold a conversation. At first I thought they were just trying to slow the comments down, so Anderson wasn't all, "Ahh!!" But it seems the moderator was just overwhelmed.

I'm not sure exactly what they're moderating for anyway and find it hard to believe they're getting read by the mod all that closely. If it's obscenity they're worried about they could just get a filter. I used to post frequently at an entertainment board years ago that had one of those. Comments would post automatically, taking out any bad words, and then the mods would take care of other stuff (like insults, copyright violations) later when they had the time. Except for having to strike variations of the word "assume" from my vocabulary during posting, it worked out pretty well. Or another suggestion would be to just have everyone that wants to participate sign up with Word Press. Comments can post automatically and troublemakers can be banned. So anyway, hopefully they're still tinkering because I know people are a little frustrated. I think once everyone gets their bearings it could be really fun. The show was very politics heavy tonight. B

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Bad Night And A Good Special (Thursday's Show...But Not Really)

Hi everybody. Man, what a crazy world we live in. There will be no review tonight because I did not watch the show. Instead, my normal 360 viewing was preempted by local breaking news of a horrible shooting at a City Council meeting in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood. Seven people total were shot by the gunman, five of them fatally. Two of the fatalities were police officers and Kirkwood's mayor was one of the injured. The gunman, who apparently had issues with city officials, was shot dead. Kirkwood has had a rough go of it lately. The suburb made headlines last year or so after Shawn Hornbeck, who had been missing for years, was discovered in now-convicted kidnapper Michael Devlin's apartment. And really, there's nothing more to say about it other than it's pretty scary that where ever you go nowadays someone can just randomly start shooting it up. Some of my local reporters wondered aloud if this will lead to more security at City Council meetings here and around the nation. I guess we'll see.

Switching topics now to 360, I didn't see John King host the show, but I did follow along with some of his live blogging. It's fun how everyone is getting involved. By the time 360's second hour was starting, my local news was kind of peetering out of new information, so I switched over and was pleasantly surprised to see a very cool special. The map table returns! I've been a big fan of the map table ever since the special with Michael Ware on the four wars in Iraq, which I think is one of my favorite 360's ever. (Speaking of Michael Ware, where for art thou? He doesn't write. He doesn't call. A viewer gets worried.) They also pulled out the map table for a discussion about Africa with Jeff Koinange, but I think we're probably never supposed to speak of him again. Ahem. Anyway, tonight we had two of my favorites, Fareed Zakaria and David Gergen, tackling the challenges that the next president will have to deal with. Not the happiest hour, but definitely good television. And I really appreciated Anderson Cooper's point that this generation hasn't been asked to sacrifice. That's always bugged me. They tell us we're in the fight of our lives, but all they want us to do is shop. It's ridiculous.

Finally, with all this new live-blogging going on, I was just thinking, wouldn't it be cool if even more contributers and correspondents could get involved? Not during the show, because that would cause a confusing meltdown, but what if they responded to comments to their blog posts randomly throughout the day? This would be especially cool when it comes to people like Reza Aslan, who has done a couple blog posts recently, but hasn't made it onto the actual show in a little while. If their technology isn't set up to where contributor comments could be randomly posted all day long, they could just set up a live-blogging hour that is not show time. You know, something like: "Check out the blog at 5PM Eastern when Reza Aslan will be here for an hour to live chat about moderate Islam's struggle to find its voice." Or whatever. You get the picture. Anyway, just throwing that out there because I think it could be cool, and more importantly to the bean counters, drive up page views. But however further they take this experiment (if at all), as I said before, it would probably be good to find a way to authenticate the poster with a special font or color, so no one can post as an impostor. Okay, that's enough from me because my two cents is turning into a nickel. I might try to review Friday's show since I missed tonight's. Emphasis on "might." No promises.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Politics, Tornadoes, Britney, And Live Blogging-Oh My! (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everybody. Are you all recovered from your Super Tuesday hangover? Hold tight because there's more before we make it to the conventions. Anyway, I recently learned something new about myself: I fail at extreme multi-tasking. Since I started this blog, my time watching 360 has also included chatting, Googling up articles for the upcoming blog post, eating, and of course, taking notes. I have a system. But then Anderson Cooper throws me a curve ball by deciding to live-blog the show. My first reaction was, "He's going to do what?!" My second reaction was, "I must see this." After all, with the train wreck potential being fairly high, I figured there was a good chance this was only going to happen on rare occasions--like an eclipse. So I put on my protective eye wear and headed to the 360 blog come show time. How did my notes fair? Not so well. But this is why God invented transcripts, right? So this will be a not up to snuff review, but I know you'll still love me anyway. By the way, the reasoning behind the live-blogging? Just got clearer.

We kick off the night with, what else, but politics. John King is live at his big interactive map and he shows us where we've been, delegately speaking, and where we're going. Remember when Tom Foreman was the map guy? Do you think there was a map fight and John emerged victorious? But anyway, John just goes on and on and, wow, that's a lot of democracy. Anderson asks him if he's canceled all his vacations and John laughs, but it's more of a I've-started-having-dreams-about-this-frickin-map kind of laugh, than general laughter. After the map, we go to a Candy Crowley piece about how Obama and Clinton are currently competing for the title of "underdog." It's all an expectations game, people. It's also all about the benjamins. Obama is a fundraising machine, while Clinton just had to loan herself campaign money. Probably not the situation she wants to be in right now. For discussion, we're joined by David Gergen, political commentator Keli Goff, and Joe Klein of "Time," but I'm going to take a pass.

Tom Foreman has the headlines tonight and our "What Were They Thinking?" is video of some dude in court punching his own public defender. Oh that's smart. So needless to say, now he has to contend with assault charges on top of his initial burglary charges. Apparently he was caught allegedly rappelling into a Kmart to steal jewelry. Rappelling? Well, he gets points for creativeness. Tom wants to know how much of a public defender the guy was if he couldn't stop the right hook. Ha ha ha. Oh, Tom.

Next up, we have a piece from Dana Bash about how conservatives hate McCain. (But they better get used to him, because as of this blogging Romney is suspending his campaign.) Basically they're ticked at him for his record on taxes and immigration and they just don't trust him. For discussion of this, we're joined by radio talk shot host Larry Elder and Glenn Beck. Oh joy. Glenn would rather vote for Clinton than McCain, which, of course, makes no sense. "I can't explain anybody else's position, Anderson. But you know me. I'm an alcoholic," says Glenn. Wow. And yeah, that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the interview. Apparently Glenn and those like him are all in a tizzy because Reagan is dead (who, by the way, spent just like Bush) and no other candidate fits the bill as a "true conservative." Anderson then reads a quote from Bill Kristol, who tries to point out there are actual differences between Clinton and McCain. Okay, in this particular instance, Kristol is not crazy (although he does make his point in a dicky way), but 360, please, the man has been wrong about everything these past seven years. Please do not reward him by quoting him on your show.

Larry agrees with the Kristol quote and tries to pimp out McCain's positives to Glenn, but Glenn ain't having it and they go back and forth a bit. Glenn wants Clinton because he believes she'll be so wildly unpopular, that after two years of hell the Republicans will find their soul. Anderson points out that he's basically saying he's going to vote for Clinton because she'll be bad for the country. Yep, party before country. And the liberals are the unpatriotic ones. Great guy, that Glenn. Of course he disputes this. "I believe Hillary Clinton, she'll say all of these things. But when America actually looks at all of them, they'll say, 'Oh, dear, Lord. We can't do any of this stuff,' or a lot of this stuff. And he'll triangulate, and he'll be a little bit more of a rein on her," says Glenn. First of all, can he be more out of touch? Yeah Glenn, you're right, who wants health insurance, tax breaks for the middle class, and a possible ticket out of Iraq? I want free market healthcare (because that always works out so well), tax breaks for the rich, and occupation with no end in sight! And second, wow, what a sexist. Yes, how nice for us that there will be a big strong man in the White House to keep the little lady under control. Is he kidding?

On now to Tom Foreman walking in front of big screens that demonstrate each candidate's typical voter. Ah, stereotyping. Isn't it fun to put people in boxes? Even if they don't fit? Hm. Who's my candidate? Well, I'm fairly young, so I guess that means Obama. But, ruh roh, I'm kind of (unfortunately) poor right now, so I should support Clinton. But then again, I'm educated. Back to Obama. I'm so confused! Apparently nobody puts Baby in a corner and nobody puts Eliza in a box. After Tom, Anderson teases an upcoming segment on Britney Spears: "What's driving her? And is anyone in her mad, mad, mad, mad world actually looking out for her?" That would have been funny if he wasn't talking about Britney. Look under the big "W" of palm trees! (It's a movie, people.)

Transitioning now to a David Mattingly piece on the horrible weather that hit Super Tuesday night. The death count stands at at least 54, yes 54, people with destruction over five states. I was going to complain about how this weather is making my back feel like it's on fire. But I have nothing to complain about. Prayers to the affected.

Moving on now to...Britney Spears. Oh boy. Here we go. Apparently she's been released from the psych ward and now Dr. Drew Pinksy is here to talk about it. Obviously this stopped being funny a fairly long time ago and now it's just really sad. But for the life of me, I do not understand why they do these segments. I know all of Anderson's arguments because they're always the same every time they cover her (or even another celeb), but they just don't cut it. He tells us over and over how they normally don't cover this story. Because if he says it enough, apparently we'll believe him; or maybe he's trying to believe himself. "These people, the paparazzi, all of us that are watching this, are participating in her demise," says Dr. Drew. Then later from Anderson: "Even by doing the story in some way we're complicit." This is where my head explodes. They know what they're doing is wrong, yet they still do the segment.

Obviously for someone, somewhere it's about ratings and money and all that jazz, but watching the two of them, it's obvious they're really upset by this. So again, I don't get it. "These companies, TMZ,, all these companies, you know, sell this video. People log onto the Internet," says Anderson. Yes, and where did your B-roll come from? Honestly, maybe it's not from TMZ tonight because I wasn't watching too closely (mad multi-tasking, remember?), but I know they've used their stuff before. Anderson, Dr. Drew, please stop being part of the problem. They're right though. Every time you click or buy one of those magazines you become a part of it. Yeah, celebrities court attention. And yeah, some are raging assholes. But they're still people and no one deserves what's happening to Britney. Because we know how this ends.

The Shot tonight is an amazing picture of a nine month old being dropped from a burning apartment in order to save his life. The show was okay. Normally I hate it when Glenn Beck is on, but I will begrudgingly admit it kind of made sense this time given the topic. Although I still think they should just wall off the passage between real CNN and Headline News, especially now that Erica Hill is safe on the good side. I think you already know my feelings on the Britney segment. As for the live-blogging, well, it was quite an experiment, huh? Some room for improvement, but not a total disaster. And hey, good on them for trying. Although they really do need to find a way to authenticate Anderson's posts, so people don't post as him, like what happened late last night. By the way, I saw that coming a mile a way (duh, of course people would try that) and shame on TVNewser for falling for it. B-

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy Super Tuesday!!! (Tuesday's Coverage That Just Keeps Going And Going And Going...)

Hi everybody. Ah, I love the smell of democracy in the morning! Technically I voted around noonish, but 'I love the smell of democracy around noonish' just doesn't work. And I finally got a sticker! I've been voting for a decade now and this is the first time they've had stickers. I was so excited. I think I amused a poll worker or two, but they need amusing because unfortunately it was very uncrowded when I was there. Hopefully everybody went later. Anyway, drum roll, please. And the winners, you might want to check back in a few months. What a night, huh? Just trying to figure out which democrat won my own state of Missouri was enough to make my head spin. At various points it was being called for both candidates. Congratulations to CNN for being cautious and not looking like idiots.

So I don't really have anything for you guys. No candidate locked up their party's nomination and we don't even know the final delegate count. This race is going all the way, baby! Even Huckabee is still very much in it to win it. Well, maybe not ultimately win it, but he's definitely in it. It's a good thing the media didn't act like it was only a two-person race. Oh, wait.

Super Tuesday randomness:
  • A big thanks to all the lovely people at CNN who said my state's name right all night. I had an "on notice" list all ready and everything, but only had to put down Bill Bennett. And really, Bill Bennett could be put "on notice" for a lot of things, so that doesn't really matter. Although, a tipster told me that David Gregory on MSNBC kept waffling back and forth, so grrr to him. And yes, people are now so aware of my pet peeve that they're turning people into me, which is fairly hilarious. Of course, since I didn't actually hear him say it, I think I'll dial that back to half a grrr.
  • The Election Center is kind of freaking me out. I have no idea why, but it has this NyQuil-like effect on me. Every single time CNN pulls a night of coverage there, I start to fall asleep. Maybe my brain just can't handle all those graphics. That's a lot of stuff to take in. And speaking of taking in, that'd be a good place to stick some subliminal messages. Perhaps a little, "I love Wolf Blitzer." I'm just saying the Wolfbot is alone with those screens an awful lot...which leads me to my next bullet point...
  • I've said this before, but you can not tell me Wolf Blitzer is not a robot. I barely even saw Anderson Cooper, but Blitzer just kept going and going and going. And he doesn't seem to get tired or sweat...or require food and water. And who but a robot could keep all those screens straight? Trust me on this one.
Okay, from my bullet points you can probably tell it's been a long day and I'm tired. I hope all of you are okay weather-wise. It seems it's been a pretty horrible night for some people. And the post-Super Tuesday race kicks off.
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